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When Harvard PhD student Jennifer Brea is struck down at 28 by a fever that leaves her bedridden, doctors tell her it’s “all in her head.” Determined to live, she sets out on a virtual journey to document her story and that of four other families fighting a disease medicine forgot.

The Filmmakers

Jennifer Brea Director

Jennifer Brea is an independent documentary filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She has an A.B. from Princeton University and was a Ph.D student at Harvard until a sudden illness left her bedridden. In the aftermath, she rediscovered her first love, film. She is a Sundance Fellow and has been supported by the Sundance Edit & Story Lab, Sundance Catalyst Forum, IFP's Filmmaker Lab, and the Fledgling Lab. This is her film debut.

Lindsey Dryden Producer

Lindsey Dryden is an award-winning producer and director who began making creative documentaries with a focus on the body and the arts, after starting her career in British TV docs (BBC, Channel 4, History Channel). Her films, including LOST AND SOUND and CLOSE YOUR EYES AND LOOK AT ME, have shown at 30+ festivals worldwide, including SXSW, True/False, Sheffield Doc/Fest and Film Society of Lincoln Center’s ‘Art Of The Real’. She has been supported by IFP, IDFA DocLab Academy and Hot Docs Forum. Lindsey is a regular mentor at festivals, a film lecturer, a recent Filmmaker-In-Residence at Jacob Burns Film Center in NY, and a proud member of the Queer Producers Collective. 

Patricia E. Gillespie Producer

Patricia E. Gillespie is a Wasserman award-winning filmmaker and Sundance Fellow based in New York City. In addition to her work on UNREST, Patricia also served as Line Producer on Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis’ WHOSE STREETS, and is currently the Creator/Director/EP of AMERICAN MONSTER, a verite true crime series produced in concert with Morgan Spurlock’s Warrior Poets. 

Deborah Hoffman Executive Producer & Creative Advisor

Deborah Hoffmann received an Academy Award nomination in 1995 for her documentary, COMPLAINTS OF A DUTIFUL DAUGHTER and again for LONG NIGHT'S JOURNEY INTO DAY in 2000. She is widely acclaimed as editor of such classic documentaries as the Oscar winning THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK, ETHNIC NOTIONS, and MULLHOLLAND'S DREAM. She has received two National Emmys, a Peabody, a DuPont Columbia Award, and a Rockefeller Fellowship. Deborah has been a lecturer at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism since 2000. She has served on juries for the Sundance, San Francisco and Mill Valley Film Festivals and on the Independent Spirit Awards, and Gotham Awards. She is a member of the documentary branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.


December 31, 1969

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Festivals & Awards

Sundance Film Festival


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Jennifer Brea is a Harvard PhD student about to marry the love of her life when she’s struck down by a fever that leaves her bedridden. When doctors tell her it’s "all in her head," she goes online and finds a hidden world of millions confined to their homes and bedrooms by ME, commonly called chronic fatigue syndrome.

Unrest is a first-person story of resilience in the face of life-altering loss, exploring how we treat people with illnesses we don’t yet understand — how confronting the fragility of life teaches us its value and, ultimately, how we all have the need to find community and connection.